2/27/2013

Coconut-Pineapple Tart

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Keeping the tropical theme going, I'll share this sweet treat that we enjoyed this past Sunday.  Coconut and pineapple is a natural pairing and this recipe certainly proves it.  While this is a recipe that can be made quickly without much fuss, there are two important steps that you need to take when prepping and assembling.  #1-- You can use either fresh or canned pineapple, but the excess liquid must be removed from both.  Canned pineapple must be drained while fresh pineapple must be squeezed through several layers of paper towel.  You will be amazed at how much liquid there is in such a small amount of pineapple.  #2-- Press the drained pineapple into the unbaked tart dough, then freeze it for a little while.  This will ensure that the pineapple stays put when you spread the rather thick filling over the pieces.

I used sweetened coconut in lieu of the unsweetened dessicated coconut that the original recipe called for. Therefore, I reduced the amount of sugar.  And since the coconut-pineapple combo had me thinking about a certain tropical island beverage, I added a wee bit of rum.  End result-- a piña colada you can sink your fork into☺.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side makes it even better.

2/24/2013

Sunday Dinner

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Manchego Cheese and Quince Paste
Serrano Wrapped Shrimp with a Romesco Dipping Sauce

Cuban-Style Asado Pork with Vino Mojo
Frijoles Negros
Saffron Rice



It's still February and we will have a good covering of snow on the ground for some time.  Since I don't have a tropical vacation on my calendar in the near future, I'll try to escape the cold through food (and I had a large pork shoulder in the freezer that needed a good home, like the plate in the above photo☺).  

This recipe is a spin on the classic mojo sauce that is prepared in various ways; the most popular version consisting of fresh orange juice for a sour note and copious amounts of raw garlic for a piquant flavor.  This recipe uses a white wine reduction and lime juice for the sourness and roasted garlic and roasted shallots for a milder pungency.  The caramelization of the garlic and shallots lends a deep flavor. Both components are blended with herbs and seasonings and the pork marinates in the mixture overnight.  Then it is roasted in the oven for several hours until it practically falls off the bone.  Serve the sauce on the side and try and hold yourself back from going for seconds and thirds.  But do try because leftovers are wonderful in tacos and sandwiches.  Carnitas and Cubanos anyone??

2/22/2013

Pineapple-Mango Smoothie

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I love it when my local market (shout out to Sunset Foods) helps me plan my weekly menus. Pineapples, mangoes, and oranges were on sale this past week, so I was able to make a tropical take on my basic smoothie formula for a breakfast treat over the weekend.  There was even extra fruit left over to keep in the freezer for future concoctions.  

This smoothie tastes like sunshine in a glass.  And just when we need it around here.  It comes together in a flash and can be enjoyed at leisure or on the go.  I used freshly squeezed orange juice this time around, but I have also had good results with coconut water in its place. I like the added taste and sweetness that the vanilla yogurt lends, but plain yogurt can be used if that's what you have on hand. The combination of flavors (and the optional paper umbrella☺) are much needed when trying to mentally escape the current seasonal conditions of cold and snow.

Looking for more smoothie flavors?  Give these a go...



2/20/2013

Chocolate-Raspberry Torte

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Don't let the relative lack of height fool you.  This torte packs all of the chocolate and raspberry flavor you can handle into its two dense layers.  Notice the size of the slice.  That is just about right to satisfy the dessert craver after a nice meal.  But believe me, you'll want to have another for breakfast the next morning when you open the fridge and catch the gleam shining off the chocolate ganache.

Speaking of the ganache-- I used Chambord in lieu of an extra tablespoon of cream in the ganache.  I really wanted to highlight that chocolate-raspberry pairing.   The promise of the raspberry jam mixture between the chocolate layers might be enough to have you thinking about this torte at any hour.  No matter what time of day it is enjoyed, whoever gets a piece is sure to delight in the fruits of your labor.

2/17/2013

Sunday Dinner

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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
(without the garlic)

Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Béarnaise Sauce
Pomme Frites
Green Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Crème Anglaise


I am a little picky when it comes to the classic French sauce, béarnaise. I find that restaurant versions I have ordered are either too buttery, too herby, too eggy, or something completely wrong.  I like mine to have a good balance of butter and egg flavor with a consistency akin to that of thinned out mayonnaise.  This may help explain my unconventional recipe below.  

A cousin to hollandaise, which uses an egg, butter and lemon juice combination, béarnaise uses water in lieu of the lemon, as well as a reduction of white wine, vinegar, and shallot.  In my recipe, I use more egg yolk, less butter, and a mixture of herbs.  Tarragon is the traditional herb used in béarnaise sauce.  This is a good flavor when the sauce is paired with fish or chicken. However, when I serve it with beef, I like to use a combination of parsley and chives.  Non-traditional, but very good. And perfect for dragging a fork full of steak and frites through ☺.

Sunday Dinner one year ago
Sunday Dinner two years ago

2/13/2013

Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake

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The descriptions of this cake seem to include a lot of superlatives.  Best this, greatest that, better than...Well, let's just say you might feel the earth move after just one bite.  Yeah, this is some really, really good cake.

Bake a simple chocolate cake, poke it all over with a skewer, drench it with a caramel/milk mixture, top it with a generous layer of sweetened whipped cream (trying to keep this PG rated) and you have a dessert that is loved equally by all ages and anyone with even a hint of a sweet tooth.

2/10/2013

Sunday Dinner

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Muffaletta Dip

Shrimp Étouffée
over steamed white rice
Creole Cabbage Salad

Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake


Many of you may recall that cabbage salad with red wine and garlic vinaigrette that I have listed on several Sunday dinner menus past.  It's a salad that I have been trying to re-create for over 15 years after my aunt first served it to me.  I know what you are thinking-- "Why not just ask her for the recipe?" Well, that would be too easy and make too much sense.  And I get great pleasure not following a recipe and just throwing in a little bit of this and a touch of that.  I have had good results with the re-creation, but it always seemed to be missing something.  After several requests for the recipe, I decided it was high time to text my aunt and have her fork over the recipe ("Thanks, Fran!").  One look at the recipe and I knew where the missing flavor was-- a beef bouillon cube. I know that sounds odd, but sometimes you just have to stick with those tried and true recipes.  

This might look like a slaw, but there is no mayonnaise; just some good extra virgin olive oil to dress the greens.  The deep, savory flavor of this salad is wonderful when paired with other Creole dishes like red beans and rice, gumbo, or grillades and grits.

Sunday Dinner one year ago
Sunday Dinner two years ago

2/08/2013

Valentine's Day Eats

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♪"Love...exciting and new..."♫  Or old, fickle, time-tested or comfortable.  It is undefinable but recognizable in all its various forms.  One way to express it for another human is through food.  What else would you expect from a food blog?!?  Here are some surefire hits from The Galley Gourmet archives.  Cancel those reservations and show your beloved how much you care.  (Sigh) How dreamy....


A sweet breakfast...




Salsa di Parmigiano

A good meal is a proven way into anyone's heart...

One can't go wrong with chocolate for dessert...














2/06/2013

Good Eats for Mardi Gras

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I hope y'all are up for another compilation or two this week, because the next big event to hit the Big Easy is right around the corner.  My husband knows the Tuesday before Lent as Paczki (pronounced "punch-key") Day.  Fat Tuesday is a day for those of Polish descent to eat one or five of those doughnut-like treats before giving up sweets for the Lord.  Well, in New Orleans it's on a little bit larger of a scale.  Parades, beads, doubloons ("Throw me somethin' mister!"), and a little gluttony and debauchery on the side...hey, have a last hurrah worthy of a good story if that's your thing.  Here are some great recipes to get you in the festive mood or to just fill your belly well---























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